I’m kind of in love with this photo set by Kristian Schuller. He tells a different story in each photograph, and they’re all wrapped up in sexuality, sensuality, circus themes, and contrast. From that first image of Penelope Cruz all in red, surrounded by crimson umbrellas to an embellished, flamenco-inspired dress on the woman on the rocky beach, I can’t get enough.
The red on red on red picture of Ms. Cruz holding an icy cocktail makes you wonder, is it iced tea or something stronger? She stands in a coquettish flamingo pose and seems to be blowing the camera a kiss. Then, scrolling down to the next picture, you see a beautiful woman in a vintage red bathing suit and a bottle of red Campari. Everything else in the shot is white. The woman, her drink, and her bottle, all lying on the floor, get the only color in the shot. Interestingly, the white beneath her appears to be sandy, or do we just assume that because she’s in a bathing suit? Then again, is this rutched number actually a swimsuit? Or is it a hiked up dress? Ordinarily, the image of a woman on the ground with a bottle of liquor would seem desperate, out of control, and sad. The way Schuller’s composed this image, though, this woman is in complete control. She owns this floor-beach, and she knows it.
Schuller loves his billowing, flowery skirts. Several of the Yiqing Yin Couture F/W 2013 For French Revue De Modes F/W 2013 shots contrast billowing skirts with other objects and scenes. In one, a woman seems to be blooming out of smoke fumes. In another, the model stands in the middle of a parachute. Her skirt fans out from the knees. A woman in a pink dress on a trapeze, her skirt literally blooms into a flower larger than she is behind her.
Each picture paints a dreamlike image that tells a tale of some imaginary past. A model in a sheer pink, gauzy gown holds Olympic rings as if she’s about to pull herself up and over, into a routine of strength and flexibility. Her hands are wrapped. Her shoulders are flexed. You believe this strange contradiction in imagery. In fact, isn’t that exactly what the circus is? Performers defy death, stretch their limbs to the point of breaking, and hurtle through the air, all with smiles on their faces and sparkles on their clothes. In this set, Schuller captures these stories and so much more.—